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Sprint ID features mobile commerce apps for three Android phones

Newly launched Sprint ID lets users of three just-announced Android smartphones customize their handset with applications, widgets, ringtones and wallpapers.

Initial partners include Amazon, Blackboard, Comcast, Disney, E!, Electronic Arts, eBay, ESPN, HSN, LatCel, MTV, Notre Dame, Oprah Winfrey Network, RadioShack, Weather Channel, Where and Yahoo. Sprint has teamed up with these brands to let its customers customize their devices—Sanyo Zio, Samsung Transform and LG Optimus S—with up to five ID packs.

“As a leader in transactional innovation, HSN is excited to partner with Sprint on its ID pack initiative,” said Sean Bunner, operations vice president of advanced services at HSN, St. Petersburg, FL.

“Through Sprint’s unique customized ID experience, our customers will find easy access to the brands, celebrities, products and live experiences they love,” he said.

Sprint Nextel is the No. 3 wireless carrier in the  United States based on number of subscribers.

Branded mobile content
As the market for mobile applications expands, mobile users want a simpler way to access the data most relevant to their needs at that time, per Sprint.

According to Yankee Group, store revenue from smartphone application downloads will exceed $11 billion in 2014, up from more than $800 million in 2009.

With Android device growth outpacing a burgeoning field of smartphones, Sprint ID gives companies a rich canvas to leverage that growth and design a multiscreen, interactive experience that provides content and applications to their audiences, per Yankee Group.

Amazon, eBay and HSN are all offering commerce-enabled applications as part of the Sprint ID platform.

Once Sprint customers load an ID—free with a select service plan—they can further customize it with additional applications and content.

ID packs can be switched out without customers losing the applications and content they want.

Because Sprint ID packs are built using the Android platform, the ID packs work across various manufacturers and will launch on three Android handsets—Sanyo Zio, Samsung Transform and LG Optimus S.

A range of lifestyle packs, plus Yahoo, game packs from Electronic Arts and business packs, are available, with more packs rolling out in this quarter and beyond.

Some brands’ ID packs have already launched, while the rest will roll out between now and the first half of 2011.

Consumers can buy the Android handsets and ID packs via, telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and national retail partners such as RadioShack and Best Buy, as well as from direct-to-consumer partners on their Web sites.

“The [Sprint ID] platform allows HSN to offer both the simplicity of timely promotions and the depth of a rich shopping experience, all within a few ‘touches,’” Mr. Bunner said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily